NTA Metropolitan Mass Transit System Ltd. is beginning work on the Tel Aviv light rail's Purple Line. The first infrastructure work will commence this evening along Arlozorov Street between the junctions of Derekh Namir and Weizmann Street.
When completed the Purple Line will link Yehud-Monosson in the east of Greater Tel Aviv to Central Tel Aviv via Sheba-Tel Hashomer Hospital, Aluf Sadeh Street and the Hatikvah quarter. It will link up with the Red Line, on which work is well underway, and the Green Line, on which work will begin next month, to create a public transport rail network serving over 500,000 residents.
Work on the Purple Line will take six years. The entire line will be over-ground at street level but will receive priority at traffic lights to provide passengers with a more efficient service.
According to NTA, the government body in charge of setting up the light rail network in Greater Tel Aviv, the work will be carried out in sections and in two stages. The first stage will be to shift infrastructures such as water, electricity and communications in the strip beneath the light rail, while the second stage will be to install the light rail infrastructure and tracks.
The work currently starting is not expected to disrupt traffic or cause congestion in the area. However, in the near future the number of lanes on Arlozorov Street will be reduced, leaving only two lanes in each direction. Much of the work will be carried out at nights to reduce disruptions.
In the coming year, there will also be infrastructure work along Ben Yehuda and Allenby Streets as well as Aluf Sadeh Street and the eastern sections of the line. NTA CEO Yehuda Bar-On said, "NTA is working around the clock to move forward with the network of lines that will serve hundreds of thousands of residents and save them jams and parking problems. The Red Line is progressing well and on schedule and the Purple and Green Lines will soon join it and change the public transport landscape in the Tel Aviv Metropolitan region.
Minister of Transport Yisrael Katz said that the Tel Aviv light rail is the biggest transport project being implemented in Israel at the moment. "After 100 years of vision and 60 years of unfulfilled promises, I've got the Tel Aviv light rail project underway. Work on the first line is going ahead according to plan and now the next stage of the project is starting, which will ensure an advanced mass transit system in Greater Tel Aviv and allow people to forego use of their cars in rush hours, as happens elsewhere in the world."
He added that the Red Line will be inaugurated in 2021.
Published by Globes, Israel business news - en.globes.co.il - on December 25, 2018
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